Substance Abuse

The majority of people in prison and jail have a substance use disorder. Despite the promise demonstrated by some treatment programs for people who are incarcerated, just a fraction of the people who need services for substance abuse receive it. Connecting people incarcerated to treatment programs proven to be effective, prioritizing resources for those nearing release, and encouraging community-based aftercare will ensure better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails, and the communities to which they return.

Substance Abuse FAQs

Providing answers on relevant topics concerning Mental Health, Health and Substance Abuse topics.

Recent Posts

U.S. Capitol

Congress Funds Key Criminal Justice Programs

Congress funded three key programs championed by the Council of State Governments Justice Center as part of an appropriations bill that provided $26.7 billion to support U.S. Department of Justice programs.

Announcements

National Institute of Corrections

Register Now for Webinar: Health Reform and Public Safety

This webinar will provide an overview of Medicaid Administrative Claiming (MAC) and Targeted Case Management (TCM), two Medicaid reimbursement programs that probation and parole departments are eligible to participate in. The webinar will also provide an overview of the steps that probation and parole agencies should take if they are interested in starting MAC/TCM in their jurisdictions.

Rural Behavioral Health

Register Now for Webinar Series: Rural Behavioral Health

This webinar series will address the complex needs of rural community behavioral health, and provide resources and training on how to create and sustain services and support that reduce the impact of behavioral health issues.

SAMHSA

Call for Applicants to Enhance Adult Drug Court Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is now accepting applications for grants to enhance court services, coordination, and evidence-based substance use treatment and the recovery support services of adult drug courts.

Webinars

webinar

Risk Need Responsivity 101: A Primer for SCA and JMHCP Grant Recipients

This webinar provides foundational knowledge on RNR as well as guidance on understanding and implementing risk assessment tools as a way to direct resources and support recidivism-reduction strategies for criminal justice and social service agencies, practitioners, and policymakers.

webinar

Improving Outcomes for Court-Involved Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders

This webinar provides an overview of three briefs that were recently published by National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders among youth.

Publications

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Journal of Juvenile Justice

This issue of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Journal of Juvenile Justice features articles on behavioral health therapy for young women in the juvenile justice system; juvenile justice in rural areas; the impact of child protective services on reoffending; reducing “social distance” between minority youth and law enforcement; recommendations on how to help youth get out of gangs; and addressing sex education with youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system.

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Drivers of Growth in the Federal Prison Population

This brief from the Urban Institute and the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections provides an overview of the key factors that have driven the dramatic growth of the federal prison population, which has grown by 750 percent since 1980.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book on Youth

This resource, hosted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, offers access to statistics on a variety of juvenile justice topics at the national, state, and county levels. Such […]

Recent headlines

The ‘Revolving Door’ for the Justice-Involved Mentally Ill

Frequently, individuals with mental illness who become involved with the justice system are ensnared in a “revolving door.” They are shunted between ER assessments, arrests and short- term stays in psychiatric units and jails. The result: inconsistent access and engagement with the mental health system.

I Spent Seven Years Locked in a Human Warehouse

But with the way our society operates, I may have been better off had I been motivated by evil, anger, greed or malice and been found guilty. Society understands malice. We understand retribution. But we do not understand mental illness and are often unable to see the humanity in those with mental illness.

Sen. Franken, Rep. Doug Collins Introduce Bipartisan Measure to Combat Mental Health Crisis in Criminal Justice System

Senator Al Franken (MN) and Congressman Doug Collins (GA09) recently introduced the bicameral, bipartisan Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, a bill that aims to improve the ability of local and state governments, as well as law enforcement, to address the unique needs of mentally ill offenders, before and after they enter the criminal justice system. Their legislation reauthorizes, improves and expands the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act.

LEAD Program for Low-Level Drug Criminals See Success

The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program is working even better than its creators had hoped, reducing criminal-recidivism rates by up to 60 percent for the poor, chronically homeless, low-level drug dealers, users and prostituted people it was designed to help.

Judge: Washington Must Fix Problem With Jailing Mentally Ill

A federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against the state of Washington for violating the constitutional rights of mentally ill people who wait long periods in jail for treatment, saying they can’t be held in custody for more than seven days without an evaluation.

Alameda County Programs Break Cycle of Incarceration Through Employment

“The AB 109 legislation is historical in that I can’t recall an era where there are so many employment opportunities for people coming out of jail and prison,” said Ronald Broach, case manager at PREP, one of several re-entry programs that Alameda County is funding with Assembly Bill 109 prison realignment money.

Drug-Offender Monitoring Comes to the Smartphone

Attorneys looking to give drug offender clients an easy, stigma-free way to comply with court-ordered monitoring may want to check out a new smartphone app from Outreach Smartphone Monitoring (OSM). While monitoring is a core feature of the OSM app, it’s also loaded with tools designed to help offenders more easily meet drug rehabilitation goals and, hopefully, integrate them more quickly back into society.

Road to Redemption: Hackensack Group Offers Helping Hand to Ex-offenders

There was no one-stop organization covering all the various needs of people just getting out, Bonnie O’Brien, Director of Transition Professionals said. Transition Professionals helps recent inmates find shelter, replace identification, enroll in health care, food distribution programs and other government aid.

Criminologist Challenges the Effectiveness of Solitary Confinement

A new study by a UT Dallas criminologist finds that solitary confinement does not deter inmates from committing further violence in prison. In addition, the The study cites previous research that has found that solitary confinement can cause serious health and psychological problems for inmates, many of whom are vulnerable because of existing mental health conditions and/or addictions.

Florida Legislature Opens Door to For-Profit Mental Health Services

Florida legislators have proposed at least 22 bills that make the most dramatic changes to the state’s mental health delivery system in decades. But there is a catch: the reform effort would also end the system’s dependence on not-for-profit managed care providers and would open the door to for-profit managed care companies to compete for the $506 million in state business.